Presentation Title

Resistive Random-Access Memory as an Electronic Synapse

Faculty Mentor

Albert Wang

Start Date

17-11-2018 8:30 AM

End Date

17-11-2018 10:30 AM

Location

HARBESON 43

Session

POSTER 1

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

engineering_computer_science

Abstract

Drawing inspiration from the human nervous system, metal-oxide based resistive random-access memory, otherwise known as RRAM, aims to be an efficient method of storing and accessing memory – just like a brain. The concept of a faster, energy efficient, stable and reliable RRAM device has been a popular subject in the fields of microelectronics and nanoelectronics. The device features a 1T1R – one transistor and one resistor – array that consists of 1024 cells with 128 rows and 8 columns, with a metal oxide stack (TiN/TaOx/HfAlyOx/TiN) that is optimized for bidirectional switching and exhibits gradual and continuous weight change. The array thus acts as a neuron in the human nervous system, with a pulse input of the presynaptic layer, an adaptable synaptic weight, and weighted sum output of the postsynaptic layer, in which the properties of the 1T1R allow the device to conserve both area and energy. At Tsinghua University, under the Institute of Microelectronics and NSF-IRES supervision, selected undergraduate students fabricated RRAM cells through a time-sensitive process in which a silicon wafer, once rinsed with acetone and alcohol, is coated in a layer of Hafnium Oxide, then Tantalum Oxide, and finally Aluminum Oxide before having the chip pattern etched into the wafer using Silicon Oxide. Once the density of the array matched the target density (which varies with each intended use of the RRAM cell), the chip is complete and the photo-resistive coating is removed. While the ultimate goal of microelectronic and nanoelectronics researchers may be for the memristor to be developed into a large neuromorphic system, the RRAM device is still area inefficient and faces several cross-talk issues that have yet to be addressed before the technology can advance further.

Summary of research results to be presented

Scientific and technological research and education are increasingly global in nature. Other countries are increasing their investments in these areas. It is critically important for the nation's science and technology enterprise that the U.S. scientists and engineers, at the early stages in their careers, develop international experiences and capabilities to support and participate in these activities. Efforts to expose future generations of U.S. scientists and engineers to first-hand professional experiences beyond the nation's borders, and addition of international dimensions to our scientific and technological education models are essential to the future of the nation. The National Science Foundation International Research Experiences for Students (NSF-IRES) program sponsored the travel of six undergraduate engineering students from the University of California, Riverside to China to participate in international research. The purpose of this program is to globally engage U.S. students in international research and cultural exchange. This will be achieved at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China and the surrounding culturally rich areas. We will be presenting a poster on the abstract above on resistive random-access memory.

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Nov 17th, 8:30 AM Nov 17th, 10:30 AM

Resistive Random-Access Memory as an Electronic Synapse

HARBESON 43

Drawing inspiration from the human nervous system, metal-oxide based resistive random-access memory, otherwise known as RRAM, aims to be an efficient method of storing and accessing memory – just like a brain. The concept of a faster, energy efficient, stable and reliable RRAM device has been a popular subject in the fields of microelectronics and nanoelectronics. The device features a 1T1R – one transistor and one resistor – array that consists of 1024 cells with 128 rows and 8 columns, with a metal oxide stack (TiN/TaOx/HfAlyOx/TiN) that is optimized for bidirectional switching and exhibits gradual and continuous weight change. The array thus acts as a neuron in the human nervous system, with a pulse input of the presynaptic layer, an adaptable synaptic weight, and weighted sum output of the postsynaptic layer, in which the properties of the 1T1R allow the device to conserve both area and energy. At Tsinghua University, under the Institute of Microelectronics and NSF-IRES supervision, selected undergraduate students fabricated RRAM cells through a time-sensitive process in which a silicon wafer, once rinsed with acetone and alcohol, is coated in a layer of Hafnium Oxide, then Tantalum Oxide, and finally Aluminum Oxide before having the chip pattern etched into the wafer using Silicon Oxide. Once the density of the array matched the target density (which varies with each intended use of the RRAM cell), the chip is complete and the photo-resistive coating is removed. While the ultimate goal of microelectronic and nanoelectronics researchers may be for the memristor to be developed into a large neuromorphic system, the RRAM device is still area inefficient and faces several cross-talk issues that have yet to be addressed before the technology can advance further.